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When Muskies Won’t Eat Shallow, Here’s How to Fish Deep

All images via Gary Enos

If you love muskies and don’t know how to fish deep, you are missing the boat entirely. 

Springtime muskies can be challenging, especially when they can’t be found in shallow water like where they are supposed to be. Normally when that pattern happens, it is also surrounded by loads of unpredictable and unstable weather. That combination alone can really screw things up in the lake. Luckily, Gary Enos shared with us just exactly what to do if you find this happening to you on your muskie lake and how to fish deep when the time is right.

Any week now, summer patterns are going to begin to emerge, but in the meantime we have to play the hand we have been dealt when looking for spring muskies. In that case, a new approach might be in order. Flip the whole script on it’s head and try something not expected.

“When searching the shallows isn’t paying off due to roller coaster weather conditions, head to the deep water areas,” Professional muskie guide Gary Enos said with us in an interview. “Use your electronics to find schools of bait fish.”


It’s these school of baitfish that early season muskies are still focusing their attention on which only means they just haven’t transitioned to their spring patterns yet. However, just finding those baitfish may not be enough.

As Enos mentioned, it’s at that point the real fishing begins. Mark waypoints on your electronics that show the edges of the schools of baitfish. From there, long bomb casts are in order to cover the most water you can while keeping your lure near the outside of the school.

“Good choices of lures are deep diving crankbaits, rubber baits, and even vertical jigging.” Enos said.


Enos pointed out that muskies still have to eat. It’s just a matter if it is going to be very shallow or very deep this time of year. Only humans go by calendars and muskies are going to do what they are going to do and not one moment before they are ready to do it.

Good luck out there fishing this spring. There’s still plenty of time to catch them in the transition from one stage to the next!



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When Muskies Won’t Eat Shallow, Here’s How to Fish Deep